You’ve had quite a year so far: your TV show, a new book, magazine covers and expos. You were back at this year’s GF&W show. Can you tell us more about it and what you cooked?
Thanks guys! 2017 has been a fun journey so far. I cooked a Smoked Trout Ravioli on the main chef’s open theatre, a crazy-delicious healthy chocolate tart in my cook-off with Neill Anthony in the Cooking with Chef’s Theatre, and a whole lot of my full-of-goodness favourites, including a dairy- and sugar-free cheesecake that actually tastes amazing, at the Wellness theatre.
What are some of the thrills and challenges that come with hosting the Sarah Graham Food Safari?
I think that one of the main things people don’t realise is just how challenging it is. The logistics are immense: being on the road for 32 days straight with my family and a crew of 15; changing locations every two days; 14-hour shoot days six days a week; shooting in the middle of the bush or other remote locations when it’s 42˚C; feeling guilty because I am not with Rob or my kids enough while we’re shooting – the list is kind of endless. But the flip side of that is that we choose to see it as an incredible adventure. My family is so generous with their care and support, the crew are like family and I love them wholeheartedly and we get to see beautiful places and make priceless memories.
Wholesome is probably on everyone’s wishlist (if they haven’t already brought it). It focuses on sugar-, gluten- and carb-conscious recipes, but does it also cater to vegetarians and vegans?
Thank you! Yes, it definitely does, there are some beautiful veggie and vegan dishes, like a dahl with coconut milk and lots of warming spices, beautiful hearty soups, speedy salads, lots of nut milk options and so much more. I loved every minute of putting this book together, and I really see it as a guide to eating well.
What are some of your funniest kitchen disasters?
Hmmm, probably behind-the-scenes TV ones mostly, where I have a whole crew scrutinising me and ready to catch me out! And I burn a lot of stuff, because I get distracted and try and do too many things at once. Oh, and macaroons generally come to my kitchen to die.
What is your favourite cooking hack / tip you have learned that we can share with our readers?
Currently, it’s cook once, eat twice. Cook double of anything and everything that you possibly can to save or freeze for another meal. I have Monday afternoon prep sessions, where I make a bunch of breakfasts and lunches in jars for the next few days.
What is your absolute must-have kitchen gadget and why?
Probably just a really good sharp knife. And I do love my spiraliser because I’m mildly obsessed with courgette noodles.
How do you balance being a mom, wife, cookbook writer, and TV show host?
I have no idea! Not as in ‘I have it so waxed I just don’t know how it happens’ but as in ‘OMG, it’s chaos most days and I’m spinning most days but I love the crazy’. But I have incredible, unwavering family support, plus my superstar project manager / wingwoman Ania who has my back every step of the way.
We’ve noted that you’ve been getting a lot of media coverage (we love you on the recent cover of Woman & Home) – how has that experience been for you?
Thanks! Totally bizarre – sometimes I feel like I have a split personality and I have no idea who that person is. The flipside of celebrity is absolutely unglamorous: here I sit typing in my slippers, my kids running circles around me and I need to go and feed the puppy and get dinner ready, but I wouldn’t have that any other way.
What are your current favourite restaurants in Joburg? Why?
I recently went to La Boqueria in Parktown North and loved the New-Yorkiness of it, and the cleverness and creativity of the menu. We are also fans of Escondido in Illovo, Urbanologi is amazing for a food experience, and Jackson’s or The Whippet in Linden for a good brunch.
How will you be celebrating Woman’s Day this year?
At home with Rob and our girls, and our new baby – Apollo the golden retriever!